There are two kinds of churches
A church that is.
A church that does.
Personally, I want to be a part of a group that does. I’m not really interested in being in a community of believers who just meet on Sundays, raise their hands in worship, pray, study the Bible and then go on with their lives. It’s not that this kind of church is all together wrong. In fact, it could still be a good church that proclaims truth. But, I want to be a church that is salt and light in this world.
I was reading through Acts chapter 3 the other day. In the first 10 verses, Luke tells an interesting story. Peter and John are on their way to the temple to worship when they see a man who has been paralyzed since his birth. It says they stopped, looked at him, and then in the name of Jesus, they healed him. Immediately the man ran into the temple, jumping around, praising God.
I realize this is a crazy, miracle story but I want to be like Peter and John. I want us to be like Peter and John. Here is what they did.
They saw the hurt. Felt the hurt. Touched the hurt.
It may seem simplistic, but you can go read it for yourself. They noticed a man in need and they felt his pain. How terrible it must have been to never have been able to walk. Day after day he would just sit on the street corner begging for money – he was a social outcast. I wonder how many people walked by him that day, they noticed him but they ignored him. It’s easy to ignore the hurt of others when we are consumed with our own needs.
Most of us today don’t have trouble seeing hurt in our world. Walk through our town, turn on the news or surf the internet and you will see hurt. Its hard not to see and then feel the hurt of the world around us. But I am certain I do not do a good job of touching their hurt.
Touching their hurt involves action.
It might be as simple as a letter sent to someone hurting. It could be watching the kids of a single mom so she can have a night out. Maybe its sending money to an organization. For some of us it means we give up our spring break or summer break to go somewhere and serve. It could be a coffee you buy for a friend who just needs to talk. It’s a cheese burger for the homeless man on the corner, groceries for the family whose dad lost his job, giving a ride to a friend who has no car, or bringing soup to one who is sick.
See. Feel. Touch.
I do not want us to miss the result of this kind of love.
The man ran into the temple praising God. People respond to our touching with worship. The book of Acts tells of masses of people coming to Jesus. 3000 in a single day (Acts 2) and 2000 more in another day (Acts 4). But slammed between those two accounts of great revival is a story of a single man coming to Jesus.
Why tell us a story of one man crippled from birth coming to Jesus?
Those who are most effective in reaching the masses are most passionate about reaching the one.
See, feel and touch – one person at a time.